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Phone Review: Nokia N71 Phone (Part 2)

May 27, 2006 in Nokia Phone Reviews

The Nokia N71 Phone Review, Part 2. Split into a 2 day affair because I’m just lazy. Click on the image or the text link to read the rest of the review.

Nokia N71 Phone Review Part 2

The Nokia N71 Screen/Display

The main display on the N71 is a high quality QVGA 2.4″ screen. 320×240 pixels, supports up to 262,144 colors. It’s larger than say the N90 or N80 screens but has a lower resolution. The pixel sizes on the N80 and N90 are far smaller than the ones on the N71 and even though the screen space is smaller, you can still fit more into that space.

Personally, I have no qualms about the display. I think the sheer size of it is visually impressive – the screen on the N90 was excellent but it’s always easier to notice a larger display vs a smaller, very high resolution display.

There’s supposed to be a light sensor on the Nokia N71 that checks how much light is hitting the phone and adjusts it accordingly, but to be honest I haven’t noticed any difference when looking at the screen in broad daylight.

More Pictures of the Nokia N71 phone


In the side view you’ll see the infrared/push to talk button and the left speaker (right speaker is located on the bottom). What I like about the push to talk button is, unlike Nokia’s other phones, you can use it to turn on/off the loudspeaker. You may have noticed that Nokia normally maps the loudspeaker key to the End Call selection button, so when calling someone you can’t just switch to loudspeaker right away, you have to wait until you’re connected. It’s very annoying in the car. Very thoughtful.

The speakers, as mentioned in the First Impressions N71 writeup, are very very impressive and some of the best speakers I have ever heard on a Nokia cell phone. (or any cell phone for that matter) Very clear audio. I could see the speakers being one reason for owning the N71 – especially coupled with the fact that miniSD media is super cheap. You’ve got a excellent MP3 player right here under your nose.

The top section of the Nokia N71 houses the power plug, the Pop-port connector, and the miniSD slot. Not much to say here, the N71 uses the modified small Nokia plug for charging. The package also includes a Pop-port to 3.5mm jack so you can plug in your favorite speakers or headphones.

Size and Weight


Here’s some pics comparing the Nokia N71 phone to a couple of other Nokia models, namely the Nokia 6030 and the 5165. It gives you a good idea of how large the N71 is. Since most of the phone’s plastic, it makes for a moderately lightweight phone that won’t really drag deep into your pockets. At the same time, however, it’s no RAZR. And to be honest, it can get quite thick for a flip phone.

Sound Quality, RF, Battery Life, and Other Usable Aspects

(Here’s my disclaimer: I’m usually pretty bad at determining sound quality and RF, so take these as a very wide estimate)

The sound quality, consistent with other Nokia cell phones, is very clear. The earpiece tends to be a bit low at max volume, but I had absolutely no problem understanding any callers’ voices.

I use the loudspeaker a lot, and I can safely say that the loudspeaker is definitely one of the better ones that I’ve heard. Volume is decent, and the actual quality is good to great. No problems here.

The Nokia N71 phone uses a 970 mah battery, which is rated at a maxiumum talk time of 4 hours. Today I did about 2 hours of talking, 20 minutes of MP3 playback through the louadspeaker, and about 20 minutes of Sudoku (that stupid puzzle game which comes standard on the N71). All things considered, my battery meter is still sitting pretty at 4 out of 7 bars. Yeah, the battery meter is generally not a good judge of battery life but since the battery hasn’t been used much yet I think it’s pretty close.

Software Compatibility

Symbian 9.1 still has a lot of problems with compatibility. Since you can’t run older Symbian applications/games with 9.1, you’re limited to the extremely small amount of software that is available right now. And trust me, there isn’t much out there. At least not yet.

The good news is that software development will continue to run its course and we will see some new software packages designed for the N71 and other Symbian 9.1 phones soon enough. Until then, however, you’ll have to suffer!

Conclusion

Without a doubt the Nokia N71 is an underrated, high quality cell phone. I think it’s been overshadowed by the Nokia N90 and the upcoming N93 – however, with basically the same features (minus Carl Zeiss), the Nokia N71 delivers in almost every way. Sure, it can’t take pictures/video like the Nokia N90, but considering it’s a heck of a lot smaller and lighter, I think it’s much more worth it.

It’s a solid, feature-packed Nokia phone. This is one phone that you should really consider if you want a high quality flip phone (and double if you’re thinking of buying an N90). I also think it’s one of the phones that Nokia didn’t go “Oops! Why’d we do that?” on.

***

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